Chapter 8.24


8.24.005    Short title.

8.24.010    Definitions.

8.24.020    Types of nuisances.

8.24.030    Prohibited conduct.

8.24.040    Disposal of diseased animal carcass – Violation a misdemeanor.

8.24.050    Enforcement notice.

8.24.060    Abatement by city.

8.24.070    Abatement by owner or other responsible person.

8.24.080    Immediate danger – Summary abatement.

8.24.090    Violation a misdemeanor.

8.24.005 Short title.

This chapter may be known and cited as the “Mercer Island nuisance control code.” (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.010 Definitions.

The words and phrases used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, shall have the following meanings:

A. “Abate” means to repair, replace, remove, destroy or otherwise remedy the condition in question by such means and in such a manner and to such an extent as the enforcement officer, in his judgment, determines is necessary in the interest of the general health, safety and welfare of the community.

B. “Building materials” means and includes lumber, plumbing materials, wallboard, sheet metal, plaster, brick, cement, asphalt, concrete block, roofing material, cans of paint and similar materials.

C. “Enforcement officer” means the city manager or any alternate designated by him.

D. “Premises” means any building, lot, parcel, real estate or land or portion of land whether improved or unimproved, including adjacent sidewalks and parking strips.

E. “Responsible person” means any agent, lessee or other person occupying or having charge or control of any premises, except the owner. (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.020 Types of nuisances.

Each of the following conditions, actions or activities, unless otherwise permitted by law, is declared to constitute a public nuisance, and is subject to criminal enforcement and penalties as provided in this chapter. In addition, or in the alternative, whenever the enforcement officer determines that any of these conditions, actions or activities exist upon any premises or in any lake, river, stream, drainage way or wetlands, the officer may require or provide for the abatement thereof pursuant to this chapter:

A. The existence of any offensive or dangerous accumulation of weeds, trash, dirt, filth, waste shrubs, lawn or yard trimmings, the carcass of any animal or other offensive matter;

B. The existence of any dead, diseased, infested or dying tree that may constitute a danger to street trees, streets or portions thereof;

C. The existence of any tree, shrub or foliage, unless by consent of the city, which is apt to destroy, impair, interfere or restrict:

1. Streets, sidewalks, sewers, utilities or other public improvements,

2. Visibility on, or free use of, or access to such improvements;

D. The existence of any vines or climbing plants growing into or over any street tree, or any public hydrant, pole or electrolier, or the existence of any shrub, vine or plant growing on, around or in front of any hydrant, standpipe, sprinkler system connection or any other appliance or facility provided for fire protection purposes in such a way as to obscure the view thereof or impair the access thereto;

E. The existence of any accumulation of materials or objects in a location when the same endangers property, safety or constitutes a fire hazard;

F. The existence of a sidewalk or a portion of a sidewalk adjacent to any premises which is out of repair, and in a condition to endanger persons or property, or in a condition to interfere with the public convenience in the use of such sidewalk;

G. The dumping or otherwise unlawful depositing of refuse, sawdust or any other material without a permit;

H. The existence of any obstruction to a street, alley, crossing or sidewalk, and any excavation in or under any street, alley, crossing or sidewalk, which is by ordinance prohibited, or which is made without lawful permission, or which, having been made by lawful permission, is kept and maintained after the purpose thereof has been accomplished, and for an unreasonable length of time;

I. The erecting, maintaining, using, placing, depositing, leaving or permitting to be or remain in or upon any private lot, building, structure or premises, or in or upon any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway or other public or private place in the city, any one or more of the following disorderly, disturbing, unsanitary, fly-producing, rat-harboring, disease-causing places, conditions or things:

1. Any putrid, unhealthy or unwholesome bones, meat, hides, skins, the whole or any part of any dead animal, fish or fowl, or waste parts of fish, vegetable or animal matter in any quantity, but nothing in this subsection shall prevent the temporary retention of waste in approved covered receptacles,

2. Any privies, vaults, cesspools, sumps, pits or like places which are not securely protected from flies and rats, or which are foul or malodorous,

3. Any filthy, littered or trash-covered dwellings, cellars, house yards, barnyards, stable yards, factory yards, vacant areas in the rear of stores, vacant lots, houses, buildings or premises,

4. Any animal manure in any quantity which is not securely protected from flies or weather conditions, or which is kept or handled in violation of any ordinance of the city,

5. Any poison oak or poison ivy, Russian thistle or other noxious weeds, whether growing or otherwise, but nothing in this subsection shall prevent the temporary retention of such weeds in approved covered receptacles,

6. Any inherently offensive or dangerous accumulation of bottles, cans, glass, ashes, paper or paper products, small pieces of scrap iron, wire, metal articles, household appliances, bric-a-brac or cement, broken concrete, broken glass, broken plaster and all such trash or abandoned material unless it is kept in approved covered bins or appropriate containers,

7. Any trash, litter, rags, accumulations of empty barrels, boxes, crates, packing cases, mattresses, bedding, excelsior, packing hay, straw or other packing materials, lumber not neatly piled, scrap iron, tin or other metal not neatly piled, or anything whatsoever in which flies or rats may breed or multiply or which may be a fire hazard;

J. The depositing, or causing to be deposited in any street, alley, sidewalk, park, parkway or other public place which is open to travel, of any hay, straw, paper, wood, boards, boxes, leaves, manure or other rubbish or material;

K. The storage or keeping on any premises in public view for more than 30 days of any used or unused building materials as defined in MICC 8.24.010, whose retail cost new would exceed $100 without a special permit from the building official; provided, that nothing in this subsection shall:

1. Prohibit such storage without a permit when done in conjunction with a construction project for which a building permit has been issued and which is being prosecuted diligently to completion,

2. Prohibit such storage without a permit upon the premises of a bona fide lumberyard, dealer in building materials or other commercial enterprise when the same is permitted under the zoning ordinance and other applicable laws,

3. Make lawful any such storage or keeping when it is prohibited by other ordinances or laws;

L. The existence of any fence or other structure or thing or private property abutting or fronting upon any public street, sidewalk or place which is in a sagging, leaning, fallen, decayed or otherwise dilapidated or unsafe condition;

M. The existence or maintenance on any premises of a storage area, junkyard or dumping ground for the wrecking or disassembling of automobiles, trucks, trailers, house trailers, boats, tractors or other vehicle or machinery of any kind, or for the storing or leaving of worn out, wrecked, inoperative or abandoned automobiles, trucks, trailers, house trailers, boats, tractors or other vehicle or machinery of any kind or of any major parts thereof;

N. The existence on any premises of any abandoned or unused well, cistern or storage tank without first demolishing or removing from the city such storage tank or securely closing and barring any entrance or trapdoor thereto or without filling any well or cistern or capping the same with sufficient security to prevent access thereto by children;

O. The existence on any premises, in a place accessible to children, of any unattended and/or discarded icebox, refrigerator or other large appliance;

P. The existence of any drainage onto or over any sidewalk or public pedestrianway;

Q. Sounds.

1. Sounds Regulated by This Section.

a. The intent of this section is to regulate sounds heard beyond the property line of the source;

b. The following sounds are explicitly regulated by this section:

i. Sounds caused by the construction or repair of any building or structure;

ii. Sounds caused by construction, maintenance, repair, clearing or landscaping;

iii. Sounds created by the installation or repair of utility services; and

iv. Sounds created by construction equipment including special construction vehicles.

2. Sounds related to activity authorized by a permit from the city of Mercer Island are limited as follows:

a. Sounds shall only be allowed between the hours of 7 am to 7 pm on Mondays through Fridays, and between the hours of 9 am and 6 pm on Saturdays.

b. Sounds shall be prohibited at any time of day on Sunday and legal holidays.

3. Sounds related to activity that does not require a permit from the city of Mercer Island shall only be allowed between the hours of 7 am to 8 pm on Mondays through Fridays, and between the hours of 9 am and 8 pm on Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

4. The enforcement officer may authorize a variance to this section pursuant to Chapter 173-60 WAC.

R. Production at any time of any of the following sounds or noises, which by reason of their intensity, frequency, duration, volume, pitch or any other reason, disturb the peace, quiet, repose or comfort of any person or persons:

1. The sounding of any horn, siren or other signaling device except as a warning of danger, or as specifically permitted or required by law,

2. Sounds in connection with the starting, operation, repair or rebuilding, or testing of any motor vehicle or internal combustion engine within a residential district,

3. The use of a sound amplifier or other device capable of producing or reproducing amplified sound upon public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising for sales or for attracting the attention of the public to any vehicle structure, or property or the contents therein, except as permitted by law, and except that vendors whose sole method of selling is from a moving vehicle shall be exempt from this subsection,

4. The use of a musical instrument, whistle, radio, sound amplifier or other device capable of producing or reproducing sound,

5. Sounds produced by any vehicle which is so loaded, or has any defect or is not equipped with a proper muffler so as to cause loud and unnecessary grating, grinding, rattling or other noise,

6. Any other unreasonably loud, disturbing, continuous, irritating, or unnecessary noise, whether emanating from a human, animal or mechanical source. (Ord. 17C-15 § 1 (Att. A); Ord. 499 § 1, 1980; Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.030 Prohibited conduct.

A. It is unlawful for any responsible person or owner to permit, maintain, suffer, carry on or allow, upon any premises or in any lake, stream, drainage way or wetlands, any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance.

B. It is unlawful for any person to create, maintain, carry on or do any of the acts or things declared by this chapter to be a public nuisance. (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.040 Disposal of diseased animal carcass – Violation a misdemeanor.

Every person owning or having in charge any animal that has died or been killed on account of disease shall immediately bury the carcass thereof at least three feet underground at a place approved by the city health officer, or cause the same to be consumed by fire. No person shall sell or offer to sell or give away the carcass of any animal which died or was killed on account of disease. Every violation of any provision of this section is a misdemeanor. (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.050 Enforcement notice.

An enforcement officer appointed by the city manager, having knowledge of any public nuisance, shall cause any owner or other responsible person to be notified of the existence of a public nuisance on any premises and shall direct the owner or other responsible person to abate the condition within 10 days after notice or other reasonable period. The notice shall be substantially in the following form:


(Name and address of person notified)

As owner, agent, lessee or other person occupying or having charge or control of the building, lot or premises at ____________ you are hereby notified that the undersigned pursuant to Chapter 8.24 of Mercer Island city code has determined that there exists upon or adjoining said premises the following condition contrary to the provisions of subsection ___ of 8.24.020:

You are hereby notified to abate said condition to the satisfaction of the undersigned within 10 days of the date of this notice. If you do not abate such condition within ____ days the city will abate the condition at your expense.

Abatement is to be accomplished in the following manner:

Dated: __________ (Name of enforcement officer)

by ______________

(Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.060 Abatement by city.

In all cases where the enforcement officer has determined to proceed with abatement, 10 days after giving notice, the city shall acquire jurisdiction to abate the condition at the person’s expense as provided in this chapter. Upon the abatement of the condition or any portion thereof by the city, all the expenses thereof shall constitute a civil debt owing to the city jointly and severally by such of the persons who have been given notice as provided in this chapter. The debt shall be collectable in the same manner as any other civil debt owing to the city. (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.070 Abatement by owner or other responsible person.

If and when an owner or other responsible person undertakes to abate any condition described in this chapter, whether by order of the enforcement officer or otherwise, all needful and legal conditions pertinent to the abatement may be imposed by the enforcement officer. It is unlawful for the owner or other responsible person to fail to comply with such conditions. Nothing in this chapter shall relieve any owner or other responsible person of the obligation of obtaining any required permit to do any work incidental to the abatement. (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.080 Immediate danger – Summary abatement.

Whenever any condition on, or use of, property causes or constitutes or reasonably appears to cause or constitute an imminent or immediate danger to the health or safety of the public, or a significant portion thereof, the enforcement officer shall have the authority to summarily and without notice abate the same. The expenses of such abatement shall become a civil debt against the owner or other responsible party and be collected as provided in MICC 8.24.060. (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).

8.24.090 Violation a misdemeanor.

Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 486 § 1, 1979).